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Daily Scan: Vladar’s growth key as COVID lurks, skills on Vegas strip?

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Calgary Flames Dan Vladar

Dan Vladar is a great story as a young goaltender finally getting to carve out his NHL career. But he’s more than the Calgary Flames backup. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby showed some frustration in a brutal loss to the Washington Capitals. He heaved a Caps defenseman into the boards, wrestling style and many aren’t happy. Meanwhile, does anyone disagree the NHL All-Star Skills Competition should be held on the Vegas strip as rumoured?

But let’s talk a little more about Vladar. Darryl Sutter let a little more out on his decision to play the backup in two straight games, subtly suggesting that the pandemic has made it important to have the goalie experience what life might be like if he is needed to play more. An injury also took out Jakob Markstrom for a spell last year and Vladar had just five NHL games to his credit before this season.

“At some point, he’s got to play back-to-backs. It’s really important to get that because you never know what will happen as the season progresses with everything that’s going on,” the Calgary Flames head coach said after Vladar’s first NHL shutout.

“They’re tough starts (as a backup). That’s part of it. That’s part of the maturing and becoming an NHL player. He’s showing that as we go. We’re still learning lots about him but he’s learning how we want him to play, too.”

So far, so good for the 24-year-old and the Flames.

Oh Canada! Canada Hockey Now

Vancouver: Five takeaways – Ducks 5, Canucks 1 UGGHHH! Tension is building on the West Coast.

Montreal: Rebounds galore, Montreal runs out of steam in 5-2 loss to Bruins.

Toronto: The Maple Leafs are hot but the topic of the day is the dress code. Our Scott Cullen says the code doesn’t matter.

NHL News & National Hockey Now

Vegas: There’s a hot rumour flying around that the NHL Skills Competition could be held on the Las Vegas Strip. This needs to happen.

San Jose: After a good start and a win over the Calgary Flames, the San Jose Sharks are quickly sinking–fading away from their identity. 

Washington: Sidney Crosby tossed Mertin Fehervary into the end boards. It was more like a heave. Washington wasn’t happy, though Fehervary seemed to laugh it off. Or promise revenge. It was tough to tell. 

Pittsburgh: About that Crosby ‘hit’ … former Senators d-man Marc Methot thinks there should be a 10-game suspension.

NYI: Uncle Leo left and a lot of New York Islanders seem to be missing even though they’re there. Barry Trotz scolded his team–“We have too many guys who are just playing.”

Boston: The Charlies rule the day for the Boston Bruins.

Detroit: I was one of those wondering what the Hurricanes were doing letting Nedeljkovic go. Maybe it’s working out for both teams but Steve Yzerman looks like a genius because of the youth factor. Nedeljkovic is proving he’s the goalie now and of the future. 

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